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The Vaccination ControversyThe Rise, Reign and Fall of Compulsory Vaccination for Smallpox$
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Stanley Williamson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310867

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314216

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The Great Benefactor

The Great Benefactor

Chapter:
(p.74) Chapter 6 The Great Benefactor
Source:
The Vaccination Controversy
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846314216.006

This chapter focuses on Edward Jenner, who studied the use of cowpox to prevent smallpox. In May 1796 Sarah Nelmes, the daughter of a farmer in the neighbourhood of Berkeley, developed cowpox on her hands after milking a cow suffering from the disease. Jenner took matter from one of the pustules with his lancet and transferred it to the arm of an eight-year-old boy called James Phipps, who in due course developed cowpox. Several weeks later he was inoculated with smallpox and failed to respond with even a modified form of the disease: the first successful example of what came to be called ‘vaccination’. The controversy generated by Jenner's findings is discussed.

Keywords:   Edward Jenner, inoculation, smallpox, cowpox, vaccination

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